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The Battered Bastards of Baseball, the Original Bad News Bears?

A mere 10 minutes of The Battered Bastards of Baseball will have you convinced that its namesake, a ragtag minor league team named the Portland Mavericks active in the ’70s, must have served as the inspiration for the Bad News Bears.

A celebratory family affair to a fault, the film was directed by team owner Bing Russell’s grandsons Chapman and Maclain Way. It also features interviews from his son Kurt, whom you may know as the star of such entertainments as Overboard and Sky High.

The result is true to the rough-around-the-edges spirit of the team itself — which is to say, vibrant, rebellious, and fun as all hell — if also utterly biased. The Brothers Way aren’t as innovative behind the camera as their subjects were on the field, but they do earn their place as honorary Mavericks.

That Battered Bastards is practically a hagiography doesn’t negate the fact that it has more anti-establishment joie de vivre in any given scene than most talking-head docs about previously unheralded mensches contain in their entire run times, though its status as Netflix property lends it a corporate sheen that’s a bit like the Mavericks putting on Yankees uniforms. (Still, you know what they say: Don’t hate the player, hate the game.)

The team was a genuine motley crew of has-beens and never-wasses (including batboy Todd Field, who went on to direct In the Bedroom and Little Children) looking to prove a lifetime’s worth of doubters wrong; that they ended up being pretty damn good is one of the film’s many stick-it-to-the-man joys.

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Red Fang+Big Business+American Sharks

At this point, Portland’s Red Fang are psych-metal veterans. In less than a decade they’ve signed to the biggest names in the genre (Sargent House, Relapse Records) and they’ve toured with the likes of Helmet, Black Tusk and Mastodon all around the world. If you’re looking for a stoner metal band to name drop without looking like a total doofus, it’s Red Fang. Alongside Los Angeles sludge heroes Big Business and the Misfits-worshiping American Sharks, you can rest assured that neo-grunge and the heavy rock riffs of you’ve grown to love, are still in full force.

Tue., May 27, 8 p.m., 2014

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LIKE GIRLS

Following a seven-year gap between LPs, the Portland-based electro pop-performance art duo The Blow returned this year with a new, eponymous full-length last month. The group, which now consists of founder Khaela Maricich and her girlfriend, Melissa Dyne, wrote 10 catchy,
upbeat tracks for The Blow that seem to ooze Maricich’s observations on love, girls, and her everyday life. At concerts, they perform on opposite ends of the room, situating the audience in the middle. The couple has said that they look at shows as a forum for experimentation, where Dyne — an installation and sound artist — handles her respective media and Maricich works with the narrative of the songs, reacting to Dyne’s art. They’ll likely be in rare form tonight, as it’s the last concert they’ve scheduled in support of the new record. With Love Inks.

Sun., Nov. 10, 9 p.m., 2013

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HERE’S YOUR FUTURE

Although the Thermals’ overtly political lyrics might be a tad too painfully reminiscent of a college open-mic night, their pop-punk hooks and guitar riffs are blessedly catchy: The Portland trio may be preaching to the choir, but that choir is sure to respond by joyfully dancing and chanting. To hear what you’re in store for tonight, listen to the band’s new single, “Born to Kill” (a nod to Full Metal Jacket), from their forthcoming Desperate Ground, a fist-pumping call to arms that’s a return to the raw, hard-driving sound they do best. Come early to hear tracks off Reasons to Live, the debut record from Amy Klein’s post-Titus Andronicus band Hilly Eye.

Thu., March 7, 8 p.m., 2013

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Raw Vegan Restaurants Have Fart Patios on Portlandia

In this week’s Portlandia, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein play two teachers who are just trying something that all their cool hip Portland students like: a raw vegan restaurant. They head to Prasad Cafe, which is actually real, vegan, and in Portland. But after dining —¬†“It felt like real food!” —¬†Carrie and Fred undergo massive fart attacks. Have no fear, vegans. Prasad Cafe is fit with a fart patio for such flatulence, and the waitress politely asks them to relieve themselves outside with the other farters.

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READY FOR THE FLOOR

Countless indie acts have talked up the influence of Aaliyah’s 1998 r&b hit “Are You That Somebody?” including Gossip, who have covered it (somewhat clumsily) in concert. Few, though, have summoned the song’s eerie future-soul sensuality the way Hot Chip do in “Look at Where We Are,” a mournful slow jam from this English electro-pop outfit’s latest album, In Our Heads. Hear them play it tonight at the second of two New York shows (the first is on Wednesday in Prospect Park), and be sure to arrive early for an opening set by Portland’s Italo-disco-obsessed Chromatics, whose frontman, Johnny Jewel, helped shape the cult-hit soundtrack for last year’s Drive.

Fri., July 20, 8 p.m., 2012

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Offered Without Comment

The Meadow, Hudson Street, 4:27pm

See other Offered Without Comment posts.

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NEVER SAY NEVER

Esperanza Spalding’s large ensemble r&b/soul/jazz fusion isn’t the most offensive music out there, but that didn’t protect her from the fury of a thousand teenagers scorned when she beat out Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist award at the 2011 Grammys. But this year, while the teen idol teased us with “Boyfriend,” the Portland bandleader released Radio Music Society, a follow-up LP that might impress the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences even more than the last one. Tonight, she and a dozen backing musicians come to Webster Hall and bring tracks like “Radio Song,” an upbeat ode to the pleasure of FM, to a live setting.

Sat., April 21, 8 p.m., 2012

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Laura Gibson

Singer-songwriter Laura Gibson went from strumming nylon strings for the bedridden to recording with fellow Portland projects such as the Decemberists and M. Ward. Her ’40s-era folk mixes bare-bones voice and guitar with nostalgic soul and Delta blues to create a complex soundscape of yearning and promise. This year, she’s touring behind her latest album, La Grande, which fills in the thinness of her vintage-inspired vocals with layered instrumentation and a fiery country energy.

Mon., Jan. 30, 6:30 p.m., 2012

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PUT A BIRD ON IT

When Fred Armisen isn’t playing President Obama on Saturday Night Live, and when his good friend Carrie Brownstein (formerly of Sleater-Kinney) isn’t touring with her band, Wild Flag, the two are making fun of all things Portland (and hipsters, the ’90s, eco-friendly nut jobs, and, in general, eccentric weirdos we encounter every day) in their immensely popular sketch show, Portlandia. The television show on IFC started merely as a one-time episode deal and catapulted into a full-fledged series, which is now in its second season and is also a live stage show. Tonight, this dynamic duo will show off their musical chops by performing songs as some of their characters from Portlandia as well as present sneak peeks of the latest season and share personal anecdotes about the creation of and inspiration for the show.

Sat., Jan. 21, 9 p.m., 2012